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Clear and Simple As the Truth - Writing Classic Prose

ISBN-10: 0691029172
ISBN-13: 9780691029177
Edition: 1996
List price: $24.95
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Description: Everyone talks about style, but no one explains it. The authors of this book do; and in doing so, they provoke the reader to consider style, not as an elegant accessory of effective prose, but as its very heart. At a time when writing skills have  More...

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Book details

List price: $24.95
Copyright year: 1996
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 12/15/1996
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 240
Size: 5.75" wide x 8.75" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.638
Language: English

Everyone talks about style, but no one explains it. The authors of this book do; and in doing so, they provoke the reader to consider style, not as an elegant accessory of effective prose, but as its very heart. At a time when writing skills have virtually disappeared, what can be done? If only people learned the principles of verbal correctness, the essential rules, wouldn't good prose simply fall into place? Thomas and Turner say no. Attending to rules of grammar, sense, and sentence structure will no more lead to effective prose than knowing the mechanics of a golf swing will lead to a hole-in-one. Furthermore, ten-step programs to better writing exacerbate the problem by failing to recognize, as Thomas and Turner point out, that there are many styles with different standards. In the first half ofClear and Simple,the authors introduce a range of styles--reflexive, practical, plain, contemplative, romantic, prophetic, and others--contrasting them to classic style. Its principles are simple: The writer adopts the pose that the motive is truth, the purpose is presentation, the reader is an intellectual equal, and the occasion is informal. Classic style is at home in everything from business memos to personal letters, from magazine articles to university writing. The second half of the book is a tour of examples--the exquisite and the execrable--showing what has worked and what hasn't. Classic prose is found everywhere: from Thomas Jefferson to Junichiro Tanizaki, from Mark Twain to the observations of an undergraduate. Here are many fine performances in classic style, each clear and simple as the truth.

Acknowledgments
Clear and Simple as the Truth
Principles of Classic Style
The Concept of Style
Recognizing Classic Style
The Elements of Style
The Classic Stand on the Elements of Style
Truth
Presentation
Scene
Cast
Thought and Language
Other Stands, Other Styles
Trade Secrets
The Museum
Further Readings in Classic Prose
Notes
Index

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